Jonney Shih has served as chairman of Asus since 1993, and until 2007 he also served as CEO. As chairman, he guides the company’s vision, philosophy and corporate culture, cultivating cutting edge technology and innovation strategies. Under his leadership, Asus has become an internationally recognised brand in the high technology
industry. Today, the Taiwanese firm ranks No. 1 in sales of motherboards and No. 3 in sales of both tablets and consumer notebooks, worldwide. “Asus is passionate about technology and driven by innovation. We dream, we dare, and we strive to create the most effortless and joyful digital life for everyone,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:
Asus has come far since its early motherboard manufacturing days. Tell us something about the company’s focus on innovation.
Right from the time of mother boards, we have been a company with a very strong technical foundation. We have been internalising our design and thinking starting from our EeePC. Therefore we fully understand that the PC will become a part of the mobile and cloud computing and it will move further to Internet of Things and robots in the
future. In view of this, we have a long term plan just like what happened 10 years back where I already knew the next big thing would be amalgamation of smartphones with cloud computing. We believe that everything is evolving and riding with the waves is our strategy in this evolution.
How is Asus performing in India?
Talking specifically about the business, China is the number one market in smartphones with 450 million followed by US with 170 million and India market is the third with 100 million. However from ASUS point of view we try to drive more in open innovation and the Indian market plays a very important role even more than US.
The path breaking response that we have received so far for our ZenFone Series alone is a testament of the fact that we are going in the right direction. We premeditated to proceed as per the understanding of what our users are thinking, feeling, and doing—what they value. It was essential for us to attain the disposition that we start with people and comprehend their expectations from us.
What kind of traction do you see for your product offerings in India?
Recently, we announced the latest ZenFone and ZenPad models at ZenFestival 2015 in New Delhi. The models included ZenFone 2 Deluxe, ZenFone 2 Laser, ZenFone Selfie, Asus ZenPad 7.0 and ASUS ZenPad 8.0 for users in India. We are very excited to bring our latest ZenFone models and all-new ZenPad Series to the Indian market. These brand-new innovations are each an empowering luxury that strikes the perfect balance of beauty, functionality and performance, and offers Indian consumers a premium user experience tailored to their individual mobile needs.
What is Asus’ strategy for sustaining the buzz in the smartphone segment?
Our primary focus since the inception has been product and the customers. With the product, we endeavour to deliver best of value and volume proposition to all our customers. In view of the response received for our ZenFone Series, we have indulged in special marketing initiatives in the country pertaining to our smartphone
series. It is a continuous process and this would change the visibility in a day. As we grow further, we are aligning this as part of our plan and you’ll see us visible around you.
I would like to highlight that we are known for our products and the quality & innovation that goes into it. It’s our underline principle to deliver what people desire and bring in incredibly crafted devices with superior designs. On the basis of our brand promise, that is, in search of incredible, we have come a long way and wooed substantial amount of tech enthusiasts. We believe that ultimately the product is the hero.
Chinese mobile phone brands seem to have taken the Indian market by storm…
Well, the Indian market presently is the hub of innovation. It is inevitable for any player to ignore this market. But irrespective of numerous players entering, we believe that we are competing with ourselves. We are innovating incredibly to surpass the standards set by our previous innovations. Therefore, our focus is always to maintain quality of our offerings and ensure ultimate customer satisfaction.
Almost all the brands talk about quality and experience. What, according to you, are the key differentiators to make a mark?
In today’s age of customer experience, how can any player ignore quality and experience that they have to offer? The key differentiators for us are what we have believed in since our inception and have we lived up to it till date. Our constant success across verticals speaks for us there and our underline principle of starting with people as we are in search of incredible keeps us going.
The smartphone user is now very different. How is Asus geared up to address the requirements of the industry?
Every vertical has its own requisites and as the market consolidates, it is very critical to identify the right strategy to sustain in all the segments. Taking the smartphones market for instance, the broad range that we have introduced has been strategically brought in to woo masses keeping in mind different perspectives, by means of budget, high in specifications—low in cost etc. The industry is evolving at a much faster pace and so are we to keep up pace with what our existing and prospective consumers want.